As we witness 2020 roll into its final stages, what have we learnt from a year of seemingly unprecedented global turmoil and are we any wiser from it? What advice can I give my inner self as I reflect on the year soon to have passed, a year of fire and fury, one of Nostradamic prophetic proportions, of tragedy and catastrophe, that has seemed relentless and never-ending. We did not predict a pandemic to be waiting for us, soon breathing us down the neck as November 2019 appeared with breaking news first from China and then rapidly spreading across the world. As we watched COVID-19 unfold, in disbelief, the media churned out one staggering breaking news story after the other and science fiction merged with a no longer recognisable reality. Countries struggling to cope, desperately seeking ways to contain the spread of the virus, looked to others for advice yet were alone in facing their own national emergency. Glued to the TV we were stunned by news coverage that differed little, reports all filled with doom and gloom. “Surreality” took over as we were forced into a different realm where the magic was gone.

And now? The nightmare continues, we “wake in fright” yet perhaps with vaccines being rolled out there is finally some light on the horizon as we seek to start a new beginning, looking for a morning after and a ray of sunshine to add hope in the darkness.

Sunrise over Mount Batur. Image by Dennis Stauffer / Flickr / Getty Images.

In all this, it is time to tell our inner voice, or shall we call it our inner alter ego, to bravely step up to the occasion as 2020 comes to a close and 2021 begins. With Christmas and New Years on our doorstep we wish for joy and festive sparkles, a spark that ignites a new brightness and illuminates the world. We have also reached a new COVID-related enlightenment as we realise life is precious, and we are not as invincible as we may have believed.

It is time to embrace life and love. The rollercoaster of a year that some of us are fortunate to have survived comparatively unscathed with our sanity somehow intact, has left us with an increased appreciation for what we have got, who we count as friends, soulmates and confidantes, what is our purpose in the time allotted to us on this breathtakingly beautiful yet shaky and scary planet, and how we shall decide to best devote our time under new circumstances as we navigate unchartered waters in a world not to be taken for granted. Life begins at the end of our comfort zone and in learning to accept change and a lack of control we are better equipped to face challenges and turn some of what we view as threats into golden opportunities.

“Tomorrow I shall no longer be here”, Nostradamus has been quoted of saying. As we remind ourselves of the brevity of our own existence we need to keep listening to our inner voice of power and reason, follow our hearts and live every day as if it were our last. Carpe Diem.